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My partner does not want to discipline her stepdaughter

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My partner does not want to discipline her stepdaughter
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Hello Ms Gase.

I am a guy who recently paid dowry for my beautiful woman. I have a daughter (13 years of age) from my previous relationship.

I gave my partner permission to intervene if need be, whenever my daughter does something that’s needs disciplining and that she should refer matters to me only when the two of them cannot iron out their differences.

My daughter sometimes seems rebellious and behaves in typical teenage ways, which I believe require patience and guidance from us as parents; however, my partner insists that I should always intervene and tell my daughter that she (my partner) isn’t happy about this or that. What’s the appropriate approach?

On another note, how do I deal with a partner who behaves like this: When we have differences, I suggest positive ways to improve our relationship whereas she would be saying negatives, opposing whatever I say and suggesting that she behaves like this or that because I once did this and that to her. It’s so frustrating.

Gase says

Your daughter may be going through that difficult phase of being a teenager and seeming to cause unnecessary trouble for everyone but at the end of the day your partner should understand that the little girl is just a child who needs direction from adults entrusted with bringing her up.

If she can’t handle ironing out her differences with your daughter and always wants you to be the go-between, what kind of mother is she going to be to your daughter?

She must behave like a mother and not a competitor. She’s the older one of the two; why can’t she tell your daughter when she’s not happy about something?

When are the two of them going to learn to communicate with one another; when are they going to get used to it if you’re always required to be the go-between?

It’s like she’s saying it’s your daughter, deal with her; she’s forgetting that as your partner she’s supposed to be a role model and a mother figure to your little girl.

I think the two of you must sit down and agree on some basic rules; your partner must learn to talk to your daughter like a parent…if not, what will she do when you’re not home…is she always going to wait until you get home so she can report to you because she’s your daughter?

The way it is right now it’s like she’s really showing the little girl that she’s not her daughter, and that’s not right.

It will backfire on her later in life because as a child growing up, she should not be given the impression that you alone are her parent, yet there’s a female/mother figure in the house.

As females, the two of them should actually be on very good terms; if only they could get along…then everything would run smoothly in your home.

Your partner should learn to be patient with your daughter and your daughter too must learn to be patient and respectful of your partner.

After you talk to your partner about laying down some basic ground rules for your home, you must sit down with your daughter and discuss…all three of you together, so that everyone understands what is expected of him or her.

Whatever the basic rules you agree on, they must not be oppressive to anyone…you must all have an input as to what is best for everyone, and you must agree on all reasonable suggestions/contributions from all three.

If you can’t agree, seek the help of a counselor.

To answer your last question, your partner seems to be keeping scores because after you have your differences she always points to something you did in the past.

Tit-for- tat is not healthy for a relationship, especially for people who are about to get married.

Point it out to her that whenever you try to come up with positives she’s always going for negatives, and explain to her that this is very frustrating for you.

If she’s not willing to listen to reason then please seek counseling to address both these issues before you two get married.

By the way, are you two attending pre-marital counseling?

That is a safe environment where you can address issues such as arguments/disagreements, money matters, in-laws, step-children and other issues that newly-weds need to be aware of and be able to solve before they tie the knot. New Perspectives offer relationship counseling and family therapy; you can contact them on 72888898 if you feel that you need professional help.